|Re: Seeking advice on getting past idea stage||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Raines Cohen (rc3-coho-Lraines.com)|
|Date: Thu, 28 May 2009 07:52:25 -0700 (PDT)|
River, I'm glad to hear of your progress in forming community, and appreciative that you have taken the initiative to reach out and connect to the larger movement - so many people and groups struggle to do it "all by themselves," and end up taking longer, failing more often, and struggling harder than they need to. A key reason for my involvement in the communities movement, and cohousing in particular, is to help people prevent that sort of unnecessary effort - so they can be more successful, and put the energies productively towards creating community. You're fortunate to be in an area with lots of resources and events, as well as existing communities that are a model for what you are trying to achieve. There are regular tours and workshops, and lots of professional community organizers, consultants, coaches and developers that can become part of your team. I've listed some events below. As a Cohousing Coach myself, I talk with a lot of people in your situation (offering free initial conversations makes it easy to start the engagement), and have found that while there's no one "right" way to do it, the more you open up and connect and get the whole group engaged in the process (rather than just assuming that one member is taking care of everything), the faster you'll build capacity and shared experience - rather than spending months debating design minutia, it can provide valuable conversational shorthand to be able to say "like that one, but with these elements of that other one." Right now, you've got a bunch of people. How much have they invested, in terms of time and money? How much are they willing to risk? How committed are they to the project? How open are they to new people and ideas? How ready are they for some people to drop out when a particular site doesn't meet their needs, or the financing doesn't work for them, or if they aren't all in agreement about something that is a core value? The process of forming community is one of convergence, gradually learning together, building trust, and putting structures in place that increase your chances of success - to the point where enough people with enough shared find it worth enough to take the chance on going in together in a scary, potentially expensive process. But the results are SO worth it, for ourselves, for our extended communities, and for the Earth. Raines Cohen, Cohousing Coach http://www.CohousingCoach.com/ Planning for Sustainable Communities at Berkeley (CA) Cohousing Northern California Cohousing Regional Organizer --- In chronological order, here's some upcoming opportunities relevant to your Northern California locations, some nearer, some farther: * This weekend, San Mateo EcoVillage (a cohousing-inspired retrofit small green community right on the Bay) will be part of a "Maker Faire" table I'm hosting at this big event in San Mateo. It's all about Do-It-Yourself (D-I-Y) culture: hacking, crafts, art, science, and yes: community. My focus is on "D-I-Y Neighborhoods" - cohousing and aging-in-community as well as coworking. We probably could arrange a community visit since San Mateo EcoVillage is just a mile from the site. * North Bay grassroots sustainability education group Daily Acts is hosting its annual carpool trip visiting cohousing neighborhoods and affordable co-ops, from Petaluma to Santa Rosa, on Saturday, June 6th. This is smaller than the bus tours, and visits some smaller communities like 40 Oaks, which features lots of natural building and creative approaches to maximizing density while staying legal. * If anyone has Portland (OR) connections or is up for a weekend road trip or overnight train trip (or taking advantage of last-minute weekend specials on Alaska or United airlines, if they pop up), there are two talks at the Village Building Convergence put on by City Repair on Friday and Saturday, June 12 and 13: EcoVillage movement founder Robert Gilman and EcoVillage newsletter publisher/educator Diana Leafe Christian, author of Creating a Life Together, a book that will answer many of your questions (more on Diana below). Plus, Eugene-based consensus/facilitation trainer Tree will be doing some daytime workshops there, including one connected with an urban EcoVillage. I'm planning a trip up there, and perhaps a talk myself. * We'll be facilitating a discussion about green design and sustainable community at an Architects, Designers, and Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR) gathering in downtown San Francisco on Wednesday evening, June 10. * There's a bicycle tour of East Bay cohousing neighborhoods that community organizer Karen Hester of Temescal Creek cohousing is leading on Sunday, June 14. * I may be up in Sacramento to show excerpts of the new "Visions of Utopia" (part 2) documentary on communities on June 15 at Southside Park cohousing; I'm awaiting confirmation on timing and whether the event is just for community members. We have some copies for sale at the East Bay Cohousing clubhouse in downtown Berkeley if you'd like to pick one up without waiting or paying for shipping. * The National Cohousing Conference is in late June in Seattle. If at least one person from your group can make it there, even if you have to pool funds to get 'em there, it will be well worth it... many pre-conference workshops on community formation and development as well as opportunities to meet movement leaders and professionals and your peers. * Diana Leafe Christian will be in the Bay Area the week of July 4, speaking and showing her EcoVillage slide show at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on Thursday, July 9, and in Berkeley the day before or after (full details will be posted here once confirmed). We'll be hosting her at the downtown Berkeley East Bay Cohousing clubhouse (our Planning for Sustainable Communities/Cohousing Coaches office) for a weekend workshop specifically around forming community, full of relevant info - if several folks from your group are interested and able to help with outreach, we can probably arrange a quantity discount). We may be able to arrange some individual consulting for your group while she's out here, as well. * There's a Daily Acts co-sponsored walking tour that I'm leading of Berkeley/North Oakland/Emeryville cohousing neighborhoods July 12, Sunday * The next Coho/US bus tour in the area is in August. I'll work on making sure that all of these events are listed in the community events calendar on the Coho/US website (which I recommend that everybody join, for free: http://www.cohousing.org/ ) But the place I first list happenings in the region is East Bay Cohousing: http://www.ebcoho.org/ - join there to get notices as events are scheduled.
Seeking advice on getting past idea stage River Snow, May 27 2009
- Re: Seeking advice on getting past idea stage Craig Ragland, May 28 2009
- Re: Seeking advice on getting past idea stage Raines Cohen, May 28 2009
- Re: Seeking advice on getting past idea stage Ann Zabaldo, May 28 2009
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